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In a hydrocarbon solution, the gold compound (CH3)3AuPH3 decomposes into ethane (C2H6) and a different gold compound, (CH3)AuPH3. The following mechanism has been proposed for the decomposition of (CH3)3AuPH3:
Step 1: (CH3)3AuPH3 ⇌ (CH3)3Au + PH3 (fast, k1: forward; k–1: reverse)
Step 2: (CH3)3Au → C2H6 + (CH3)Au (slow, k2)
Step 3: (CH3)Au + PH3 → (CH3)AuPH3 (fast, k3)
What would be the effect on the reaction rate of adding PH3 to the solution of (CH3)3AuPH3?
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